An accounting of conflict deaths must be part of the Sustainable Development Goals

October 19, 2015
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Instituto Igarapé and Saferworld just launched a new technical note on counting conflict-related deaths. The note reviews methods on how to count the dead using both incident monitoring and statistical methods based on probabilistic sampling.

The United Nations is deliberating next week in Bangkok on whether or not to include metrics on war in the newly minted Sustainable Development Goals. It has a mandate to count “all violent deaths from all causes” but some states feel it is too political, too complex, and too resource-intensive.

Counting direct and indirect fatalities from war is a moral, legal, and humanitarian imperative. Moreover, its doable. The note sets out the case for why the United Nations has a basic responsibility to count war-related deaths.

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